Collecting Masterpieces
Photo of pair-of-dancers-bowing-in-reverence

 

Archaic and Imperial Chinat
PAIR OF DANCERS BOWING IN REVERENCE
Tang Dynasty (AD 618 ­- 906)

 

Object :
Nº 1805
Medium :
Terracotta
Dimensions :
Height: 28 cm (11″) - Width: 27 cm (10.6″)

A lovely pair of dancers bowing in deference. Moulded terracotta with vibrant polychromatic details. A white slip is applied uniformly over the pieces before the polychromatic designs are added. The two statues are dressed in a traditional long-sleeved garment with their hair pulled into two chignons place atop their heads. Possible ancient restorations.

Emperor Xuanzong (713-755 A.D.) founded within his court an academy dedicated to song and dance called ‘garden of the pear’. This academy laid the foundation of ceremonial entertainment. The reverential pause is typical of Ruan style traditions in China. This way of moving seems to find its heritage in India, Chinese dance having inherited barbarian traditions from Persia, Sogdia and even Korea. The Tang period was the golden age of dance and all kind of arts, evidenced by the imperial court that had no less than 10,000 dancers, managed by the ‘office of percussion and winds’. The dancers were divided between the energetic and athletic and the sweeter and more graceful and it was customary that all dances be accompanied by song. Circumstantial choreography would be performed depending on if the spectators were sitting or standing.